Apparently Tomorrow is Food Day

Iaorana! Eaha to outou huru? This Monday we officially moved into Tahitian, which is super exciting and also has caused a mass headache ep...

Iaorana! Eaha to outou huru?

This Monday we officially moved into Tahitian, which is super exciting and also has caused a mass headache epidemic. Je blague ;) I remember our first week here, we were especially tired and 'slap happy' by Saturday, our third full day. Our third day of Tahitian went pretty much the same. Lessons in Tahitian have more or less resulted in "Um... book.... true.... Book of Mormon? Prophet true Joseph Smith... Read book.... pray....good?" And then we'd attempt to ask them a question and they'd go off in rapid Tahitian, probably saying something really deep or asking us an important question, to which we respond "Yes. Um. Good. Read book? Good. Bye!" Some of the elders have resorted to randomly singing hymns in Tahitian in the middle of lessons. At least, if we don't know any Tahitian at the end of these three weeks, we will be pretty fluent in charades.

In all seriousness, this is a really awesome language. It's tough, and we have to try really hard to not compare it to a Western European language because it's just so different. But it's really awesome. We are constantly amazed by the deepness of the multiple meanings that some words carry, such as "faaroo" which means "to listen, to hear, to believe, to have faith in." We are constantly confused by the bizzare translations of words such as "faaho'i-faahouhia mai" which means "restored" as in "restored gospel" but loosely translates to "the return agained that came." Yay for Tahitian logic. We are constantly amazed by the culture, such as what they call the days of the week: Monire, Mahaha piti, Mahana toru, Mahana maha, Mahana pae, Mahana ma'a, Sabati. In English: Monday, Day Two, Day Three, Day Four, Day Five, Food Day, Sabbath." It's weird now how much a relief even speaking in French is after trying to communicate in Tahitian. As Sœur S pointed out, our first day we might have complained, "I can't teach in French!" so at least now we might complain "Je ne peux pas enseigner en tahitian!" And as Elder P said a few days ago, "it feels like I'm sinning or something when I speak in English now" because we are trying to "speak your language(s)" as much as possible.

[editor's note: if anyone wants to see some Tahitian, I found the church's website for "te Reo Tahiti" (Tahitian)]

Even though we occasionally despair and wonder how we'll ever be able to be communicate comfortably in te Reo Tahiti, we all know deep down that it's possible. We don't know how, but we'll figure it out. I've been thinking a lot his week about something we call "the gift of tongues," In Doctrine and Covenants, chapter ninety verse eleven, it says: "For it shall come to pass in that day, that every man shall hear the fulness of the gospel in his own tongue, and in his own language, through those who are ordained unto this power." Throughout the scriptures it speaks of the gospel being taken unto every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. The scriptures also say, "But the Lord knoweth all things from the beginning; wherefore, he prepareth a way to accomplish all his works among the children of men; for behold, he hath all power unto the fulfilling of all his words." Therefore, if the Lord has said that the gospel will preached in every tongue, including Tahitian and all its dialects, it must needs be that somebody is ordained unto the power of learning this tongue and preaching in it. Guess who?

I've been talking about this concept with my district, and it's been helpful to keep this in mind as we muddle our way through. We've been called to help the people in Tahiti come into Christ, and if I have to learn five new languages to do that, then I know that the Lord will help me, because "he hath all power unto the fulfilling of all his words." In the scripture that my blog name comes from, the Lord says "I remember those who are upon the isles of the sea." I choose to take that literally. Our Heavenly Father knows all the people of Tahiti personally, and He has prepared the way for a bunch of 18-, 19-, and 20-year-olds to tell them that.

I've been told from a reliable source that my mission is the oldest foreign speaking mission in the world. There is a series of videos about the gift of tongues that I think most foreign-speaking missionaries are asked to watch before they report to the MTC, and it's all about Tahitian missionaries. We are infamous for learning two languages. (or more, because guess what, Tahiti has several dialects that some of us will have to learn one or two of as well) There are plenty of special cases where missionaries in all parts of the world pick up a second language in the field, but, correct me if I'm wrong, I think we are the only group that is actually taught two separate languages in the MTC. As we welcomed six new Tahiti-bound missionaries to the MTC this Wednesday, we decided that yes, our bags of books are indeed bigger than any other.

Point is, my mission is cooler than yours. The words "I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things" come to mind ;)

Anyway, speaking of new missionaries, we got to host again this past Wednesday! Major coincidence weirdness: I hosted two missionaries, the first being one of the new Tahitian missionaries, and the second being one of my new roommates! Our previous roommates abandoned us this past Monday morning for Indiana, so we got four new ones on Wednesday. This makes roommates 7,8,9, and 10! Since Sœur S and I are the only sisters in our district, the extra four beds in our room are Grand Central Station!

Yesterday I auditioned to play a special musical number in a meeting or devotional. I brought out a piano solo I learned a few years ago, a medley of hymns about Joseph Smith. Fortunately it can only be four an a half minutes, so I cut out all the especially tricky parts ;) It's frustrating, because I can play it really well in private, but as soon as you put me in front of an audience, my hands get shaky and it's really hard to play when your hands are shaking. I wasn't even really nervous mentally. Curse you adrenaline. Anyway, the audition went all right, and they said that they'd like to have me play it as long as I think I can play it for an audience... It's a really beautiful song though, and I've noticed that I usually play better when I focus on the meaning behind it. When I was learning it the first time, I wrote some of the lyrics of the three songs on the sheet music, and right now the last line of the last song, "Praise to the Man" is my favorite: "Wake up the world for the conflict of justice, Millions shall know Brother Joseph again." I especially love that line because it's my job right now to bring the knowledge of the restoration to as many as I can! I highly recommend listening to this arrangement, you should be able to find it on youtube if you search "Joseph Smith Medley D. Spencer Mangum." While you're at it, look for a beautiful french hymn called "Souviens-toi." I think there is an English version called "Going Home."

I apologize if any of my spelling is weird. English words look weird now, we've noticed. To everyone in the east half of the United States it seems, good luck with that snow! Tahiti does indeed sound very welcoming right now.

Ua here au ia outou,
Tuahine Ladd

[editor's note: she's still doodling :-)]